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Boxing Academy

A successful Yorkshire boxing academy helping talented athletes be the best they can be is back and ready to welcome new student recruits.

Bradford College (@BradfordCollege) is the only college in Yorkshire with a boxing academy and is the most successful of its kind in the country. In its history, seven of its students have secured places on the GB Boxing Programme.

Students are supported by Team GB and England boxing coach Mally MacIver. Mally, who is the college’s head coach and a former professional boxer, said: “We can help train students from being complete beginners to competing and getting to reach their full potential.”

Harris Akbar is among the brilliant boxers that has trained with Mally at the academy. The young star studied Sport at Bradford College before GB Boxing made him a full-time athlete. He has a number of titles under his belt including silver at the Under-22 European Boxing Championships in Russia, which he achieved in 2019. Harris credits his success to the Boxing Academy, saying: “I am very proud to have been a student at Bradford College and proud to continue to represent the Bradford College Boxing Club. The boxing facilities at Bradford College are excellent and I owe the College, and especially Mally, a lot for helping me get to where I am today.”

Jade Ashmore is another academy success. She has represented Team GB and England on the international stage and won a bronze medal at the European Youth Championships in Hungary in 2015. Jade is now a personal trainer and gym instructor, as well as a qualified boxing coach supporting others to success.

And since leaving Bradford College, Amaar Akbar has had outstanding amateur success. A two-time national and six-time Yorkshire champion who reached the final of the senior National Amateur Championships at the age of 18, Amaar now has his sights on a professional career.

Trailblazer Saira Tabasum became the British Universities Champion in 2012 and the first higher education championship winner to be trained through the Boxing Academy.

Saira starred in No Guts, No Heart, No Glory, a stage production by Common Wealth theatre company detailing the lives of a group of Muslim female boxers. She is now a biomedical scientist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

A name that needs no introduction is Nicola Adams OBE. She is an inspiration to generations as a former Team GB boxer and double Olympic Champion, having won gold at London 2012 and Rio in 2016. She studied at Bradford College and trained at the club when it was the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy. Nicola retired with an undefeated record and held the WBO female flyweight title in 2019.

Mally’s training and coaching has had a powerful impact on hundreds of students from Bradford College and local schools since 2008. They include young people with disabilities and those in Pupil Referral Units (PRUs).

Bradford College Boxing was set up in 2008 and is backed by England Boxing. Mally said: “The academy offers discipline as well as teaching respect and building self-confidence. It is excellent for health and developing life skills.”

The academy is based at Trinity Green Campus and has three rings – including an AIBA-spec competition ring – a full range of hitting equipment, weights, mirrors and tech for analysis. These areas were set up and used by a number of international Olympic teams preparing for London 2012 Olympic bouts. 

The Boxing Academy is just one of the outstanding sports clubs and academies that students at Bradford College can access once they have enrolled. The college works with organisations like Bradford Bulls Foundation, Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Boxing England.

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